Friday, 22 April 2011

Palm Easter Tree

Have we all enjoyed a great Easter weekend? It's been absolutely glorious in the North of England. Apparently it's been warmer here than in Spain and France, unbelievable.

I am not sure if it is a sign of the times or whether it is just me but I am very keen to keep to traditions. I had planned traditional fayre for the whole Easter weekend, starting with Green Thursday (called White Thursday in Holland and Belgium) and for the first time we made a 'palmpaasboom', a palm Easter tree. When I mentioned this to friends here I got blanks so it may well be a Dutch tradition. This 'tree' in the shape of a cross was decorated with ribbons and flowers and carried around on Palm Sunday. I have never actually seen this carried in a parade at school or elsewhere but this is what happened up to the sixties apparently. The monkeys love learning about what they call the 'olden days' and they like that we do things on certain days so I thought this would be a great thing to pick up for years to come.

On a trip to Delamere forest we found a couple of sticks that we turned into a cross and decorated with yellow ribbons and Easter decorations. The monkeys then had a great time threading biscuits and sweets for a couple of garlands that they were allowed to eat today on Easter Monday.

I searched online to find tips to turn bread dough into a cockerel or an Easter chick to put on the top and found that it was remarkably easy:

Make sausage shapes of about 15 cm, then make a few cuts in one end for the tail and a few at the other for the comb, pulling one bit out to make a beak and sticking a raisin in for an eye. I wasn't all that sure when I put them in the oven but .....

the result wasn't bad:

And this is what our tree looked like in the end:

Proportionally the chick is a little small but I'll divide the dough differently next year and make a bigger one. In the meantime the cross is going to be used for a sword by boy monkey. I am glad the monkeys get into the spirit of reusing and recycling too!

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